E Ahamed, former Union minister and MP, passes away; will Budget be deferred?

Former Union minister and Indian Union Muslim League leader E Ahamed passed away early on Wednesday after he suffered a cardiac arrest, raising doubts whether the government may have to adjourn the parliament session today.

The 78-year-old Ahamed died at 2.15 am at RML hospital where he was admitted on Tuesday and put on artificial life support.

Minister of State for External Affairs E Ahamed. Image courtesy PIB

File image of E Ahamed. Image courtesy: PIB

"E Ahamed has passed away at 2.15 am. His body has been taken to AIIMS hospital for embalming (a method to preserve a corpse from decaying) as the facility is not available at RML," a senior RML doctor told PTI.

Ahamed's body will be taken to Kerala later on Wednesday. The MP from Kerala's Mallapuram suffered a cardiac arrest during the President's address to the joint sitting of Parliament on Tuesday.

At around 2.15 pm, he was shifted to the RML trauma centre's ICU where he was put on a ventilator and breathed his last.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi, party vice president Rahul Gandhi, leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, besides other party leaders had rushed to the hospital late at night and met Ahamed's family.

Ahamed's family had alleged that they were not allowed to meet the leader.

According to a report in The Indian Express, the family of the six time MP alleged that they waited for three hours at the hospital and were not allowed to meet him.

"The behaviour of the hospital authorities was very unprofessional and they did not tell us why he has been kept on life support," the report quoted Ahamed’s daughter Fausiya as saying.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi also were present at the hospital with the family, the report said.

The bigger question is whether the government will have to defer the Union Budget 2017 to be presented today as the parliamentary convention stipulates that the session should be adjourned in the case of death of an MP.

However, this is just a convention and not a written rule. So there are chances the government may go ahead with the session even if the Opposition protests or even walks out.

It is learnt that the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha haven't been informed of any change in today's business. There have been instance in the past too when a minister of state died and the Budget has gone ahead.

"Even if a Lok Sabha MP passes away there is no legal bar to stop the Budget presentation. House has its own convention and it will be followed accordingly. May be a two-minute silence will be followed, but there will be no change in the budget presentation schedule," said Sanjay Hegde, Constitutional Expert and SC Senior Advocate.

However, sources in the Speaker's office said that the Budget day is special and today's businesses will carry on as scheduled.

With inputs PTI

Updated Date: Feb 01, 2017 08:38 AM

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